What you need to know about genital yeast infections

Common to both genders

Men and women are both at risk for genital yeast infections. The most common type of yeast infection is that of a fungus called candida, which occurs in the vagina. It is passed to men during unprotected sexual encounters. Candida symptoms include itching and swelling in and around the vagina, a lumpy white discharge, as well as pain during sex.

Research has shown that although women are more prone to fungal infections, men can also pick up a yeast infection from unprotected sex with someone who has vaginal candida. Research has indicated that the infection mostly appears as small white spots, or a dry peeling rash on the penis, both of which cause irritation, as well as a burning pain when urinating. Studies have also shown that men who are uncircumcised have a higher risk of picking up a yeast infection.

It was noted that a male yeast infection may spread as an irritating, itchy rash, to the inner thighs and buttocks. However, the treatment is relatively simple, and the infection responds well to over-the-counter creams and meds. In extreme cases, the doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal cream, or an inti-fungal oral drug. He could also suggest that you always use a condom when having sex, to prevent new infections and pain when you urinate, or have sex.

How does vaginal sex cause a yeast infection?

According to ongoing studies, it has been determined that fungus is a normal part of the microscopic bacteria ecosystem in the vagina. However, if this fungus is overrun by foreign bacteria, and begins to grow uncontrollably, it can lead to a yeast infection. The bacteria are usually introduced by vaginal intercourse.
It was agreed that if a woman has unprotected vaginal intercourse with a man who has a genital yeast infection, her risk for contracting the condition is almost twice as high.

The bottom line is, for men and women, that if you have a yeast infection after unprotected sex, you got it from your partner.

What treatment options are available?

If you have symptoms which indicate that you have a yeast infection, you may be able to treat it with an anti-fungal over-the-counter cream. Wearing cotton underwear will also help ease discomfort while you wait for the symptoms to clear.

Once you have started your treatment, finish the course, and your yeast infection should clear in about 7 days. However, if you don’t see any improvement in 8 or 10 days, and your symptoms have got worse, a decision to see the doctor will stand you in good stead. The doctor will probably prescribe stronger meds to deal with the infection and help to make sure that it is cleared. He may also suggest that you refrain from sexual intercourse until you are totally free of infection. It is also advisable to avoid oral sex, as bacteria can also be passed on in this way.

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February 13, 2023

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